October 19th, 2020

Dangerous offender hearing adjourned again


By Shurtz, Delon on August 27, 2020.

Delon Shurtz

lethbridge herald

dshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A court hearing to determine whether a convicted sex offender should be designated a dangerous offender has been adjourned again, and won’t resume until December when it will continue for three more days.

It’s the fourth adjournment since the dangerous offender hearing began last February in Lethbridge Court of Queen’s Bench. The Crown is expected to continue presenting its evidence Dec. 9 and 10, before defence begins its case Dec. 11.

The Crown is attempting to have Trevor Philip Pritchard designated a dangerous offender, which would keep Pritchard in custody for an indeterminate amount of time without parole eligibility for seven years.

Pritchard, who is serving time in Alberta’s Bowden Institution, has convictions for sexually assaulting underage girls in 2004, 2009 and 2010. He pleaded guilty in 2018 to sexual assault and child luring in relation to one girl, and he was sentenced in February of last year to six and a half years in a federal penitentiary.

Court was told Pritchard carefully planned the assault and, using Facebook, carefully groomed the girl to trust him over several months before he finally took her to his house – under the pretense of giving her a job – and forced her into various sex acts. He then drove her home and threatened to kill her if she told anyone.

He was also found guilty in January 2019 following a trial on charges of sexual assault, luring and possession of child pornography in relation to other girls. Sentencing on those charges was adjourned pending the outcome of the dangerous-offender hearing.

The Crown maintains Pritchard has shown a pattern of repetitive, persistent aggressive behaviour and a failure to control sexual impulses, which indicates he is a “significant future threat.”

During Wednesday’s hearing court heard from the forensic psychologist who conducted assessments on Pritchard in 2018 and 2019. The resulting reports recommend he be placed under intensive and constant supervision once he is released, and that he be prohibited from contacting or being in the presence of anyone under the age of 18 years. That includes any employment or volunteer opportunities that place him in a position of trust or within the vicinity of children.

He should also be prohibited from accessing, possessing or owning any electronic devices with access to the internet. Any disregard of these conditions should be result in “swift penalty, as it is an indication of relapse into his crime cycle,” the report concludes.

Calgary lawyer Andre Ouellette, who is opposing the Crown’s bid for a dangerous offender designation, said Wednesday he’s considering hiring an expert for the defence to discuss the findings in the assessments.

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